Author: Katie McGarry
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ARC, 392 pages
Date Published: July 31, 2012
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.
Readers will feel Echo and Noah; their every emotion, their spark, their despair. The book will make you smile, fan yourself with the smexiness, and yes, cry. I cried my eyes out at certain points.
Echo is kind, and damaged, and so trapped in her loneliness. She experienced a trauma, but she cannot remember any of it. All she knows is that her father remains overbearing, she’s left with scars littering her arms, and her mother isn’t allowed to see her. But she doesn’t know why. The aftermath of whatever has shut down her memory has left her isolated.
Enter Noah. He comes off as a bad boy, but he has his own hidden issues. And with very good reason, having lost both his parents in a house fire, and only barely managing to get his younger brothers out. Now Noah has to contend with the foster care system and try to get his life together to gain custody of his brothers. Noah and Echo seem like complete opposites, but they’re really the only ones who can understand each other. The spark they share is incredible. Any scene with the two absolutely explodes with tension.
McGarry skillfully tells each character’s own story, and then ties Echo and Noah together. I loved that. Not only is there a well-developed and slowly unfolding relationship, but both characters can stand up individually as well. Echo’s disconnect from her father is so sad, it made my heart hurt. Her pain is evident throughout every page of the book, but her surprising happiness with Noah makes you root for them. I wanted to see them both break free from their pain, all the while knowing how difficult it would be.
Noah’s storyline in the book hit a little closer to home for me, just because I have younger brothers, so I know how I’d feel if I was in his position. Noah is a truly good guy. He’s messed up in the past, but when we see him with his brothers, we get to look past the guy that slacks off in school and smokes pot; we see a guy who loves completely. And then we see him begin to share that side of himself with Echo as well.
Pushing the Limits is easily one of the best contemporary stories I’ve ever read, and by far one of my favorite reads this year. It had a little bit of everything and YA readers will eat it up and beg for more. I know I did.
Opening line: “My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has. . .well. . .issues. How do you think I’m doing?” ~ pg. 7
Favorite lines/passages: The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see – the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life. ~ pg. 278
*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
This deserves like a gazillion stars!!!*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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